Kiwibot is full of outstanding women, and today we want to share their stories with you. Read on for what they have to say: how they entered the world of tech, how they are breaking paradigms, and how they are aiming to inspire the next generations of women in tech.
Let’s take a dip into the history of some of the waves of women who thrived in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also referred to as STEM. Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer and the founder of scientific computing is known for her algorithm, the first one designed for a machine to carry out; Marie Curie, the titan of science who discovered the polonium; and Grace Hopper, best known as the queen of code, the one who led the development of computer languages, such as COBOL; are some of the women who made incredible contributions to our society.
We want that list to get longer and longer so that more women see themselves represented in the STEM fields which have thus far remained man dominated. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project and the American Association of University Women, in the United States, women make up only 28% of the workforce in these fields, and only 21% of engineering and 19% of computer science majors are women. At Kiwibot, we work every day to close that gap and 30% of our employees are women.
According to Laura Gomez, Head of Talent Acquisition, we have a great balance in terms of gender. Since female leadership has increased in the company, the change has been very positive, now we can count on more diverse perspectives and critical analysis thanks to the tremendous talent at Kiwibot. Let’s take a look.
Imagine there’s a bunch of people lifting pieces and materials. People used to believe that only men could be in charge of the robot’s assembly, but Kiwibot’s assembly floor doesn’t reflect those old stereotypes. There, you’ll find Natalia Pinilla, the lead of the Hardware and Manufacturing team, in charge of the entire design and production of the robots at Kiwibot.
Her day-to-day consists of receiving the company's demands, translating them into projects, and dividing them into the subareas of her team: mechanics, electronics and supply chain. In a few words, Natalia is responsible for making things happen: producing the robots of Kiwibot.
For her, the paradigm was broken from the moment she assumed the leadership, being the only woman on the team at that time. Also, in the assembly process, when the tasks performed have been historically associated with male roles, she notes, “many women stand out for their excellent performance assembling robots. This is not about strength, this is all about efficiency and strategy, and we are really good at that.”
Now, what do you think when you imagine someone coding and analyzing data behind a screen? Well, at Kiwibot there is Alexandra Santiago. She is our Data Engineer, responsible for the servers and the one who makes sure the data goes from a source to the database to be consumed by the rest of the teams.
She entered the world of robotics after a twist of fate, quitting medicine to follow her passion: coding. After showing her skills, she got into Kiwibot. “It was a great opportunity for me because they only looked at my talent. I was seven months pregnant, it is quite crazy to think that a woman starts working when she is pregnant”, Alexandra pointed out.
Her everyday life goes beyond Python and SQL; she is also the leader of the junior engineers and reviews their code to help it work faster and better. In terms of broken paradigms, she thinks it is exciting that more women are daring to join the STEM fields that have traditionally been for men. “We need to believe it's possible, women belong to tech, data and robotics. What we do at Kiwibot is to lead by example and we hope to inspire other women to take the same path and reach so much further.”
Let's picture this next scenario: a group of people diagnosing and repairing a fleet of robots. Maybe you imagined men, but instead, there is Camila Pita, the Head of Maintenance at Kiwibot, a mechanical engineer, passionate about robotics. Her daily routine is more than just leading the team that keeps our fleet of robots healthy but also coordinating the resources required for operations around the world.
She is breaking paradigms by being at the head of an often male-dominated area such as maintenance, with more than 15 male engineers. “Although sometimes it seems difficult to get your work valued, with a lot of effort and dedication you can show your skills, it’s about contributing to the team.”
From the first women at Kiwibot to the future generations, remember: the world of robotics is also a woman's world. And before you go, Laura Gomez has one last piece of advice for you:
“Even though robotics is currently a male-dominated field, it’s a wonderful opportunity to test your abilities. The world will benefit from a more diverse perspective when it comes to robotics. When you open the discussion to broader groups it only makes us better. Bringing female-oriented ideas to the field will give us the opportunity to put that technology to good use. It might be intimidating at first, but so are the most exciting and rewarding things in the world.”
As we find inspiration from their stories everyday, the Kiwibot team knows that women have played an enormous role in making us the company we are today. Also, employees are valued based on their talent, skills, and passion for robots, whatever their gender is.
Luckily, the number of women at Kiwibot is already constantly growing and that leads to:
Finally, we hope this exposure encourages more women to consider STEM careers and robotics jobs as an option. Don’t hesitate to make your first step, apply now and join these outstanding women at Kiwibot.